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Sir Frederick Ashton (1904-1988), Founder-choreographer and Director of the Royal Ballet

Sitter in 29 portraits
Encouraged by Marie Rambert, Ashton created his first ballet A Tragedy of Fashion in 1926. He choreographed several pieces for the Vic-Wells Ballet before joining the Company in 1935. As resident choreographer, he worked with the young Fonteyn, who became his life-long muse. Among his greatest ballets are Symphonic Variations (1946), Scènes de Ballet (1948), La Fille mal gardée (1960), The Dream (1964), and A Month in the Country (1976). Knighted in 1962, he became director of the Company the following year. Ashton was made a Companion of Honour in 1970 and awarded the Order of Merit in 1977. His later ballets include Five Brahms Waltzes in the Manner of Isadora Duncan (1979, created for Lynn Seymour) and Rhapsody (1980).

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